Elizabeth Genovise grew up in Villa Park, Illinois, and lived in Michigan and Iowa before earning her MFA in fiction at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She is an O. Henry Prize winner and has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net awards. Her stories have appeared most recently in Plough Quarterly, Pennsylvania English, Passengers, The Laurel Review, and many other journals.
Elizabeth has published three collections of stories via small or university presses: A Different Harbor, Where There Are Two or More, and Posing Nude for the Saints. Her fourth book, Palindrome, is due out from the Texas Review Press in 2022.
Elizabeth lives near Knoxville, Tennessee, where she teaches literature and writing courses. She is currently completing her first novel.
RECENT AND FORTHCOMING WORKS
Posing Nude for the Saints
Texas Review Press, Summer 2019
The daughter of a prostitute falls in love with a Mennonite and finds herself torn between two worlds; a young husband comes to terms with his wife’s terminal cancer, confronting his own helplessness and terror. A divorcee who responds to a Craigslist ad for boudoir photography finds more than what she bargained for; a widow shops for a last supper for herself and her unborn child. A woman in crisis learns her mother’s deepest secret; a family of five vacations in a wild landscape that foreshadows their collapse. Set primarily in rural east Tennessee, these stories and others portray men and women whose souls are all exposed, and for whom redemption is yet possible.
Praise for Posing Nude for the Saints:
Like an intense consolation from Boethius or an exquisitely turned argument by Saint Paul, these wondrously real stories each transformed me—they verge on conversion experiences. But they bear such a practical scale, that shocking recognition that an epiphany heralds not an exultant end so much as a beginning, a new, arduous, yet hopeful calling. The humanity, the yearning, the raw spirituality of these characters shines indelible. I will never forget being ravished and at last won over by this miraculous collection. —Steve Yates, author of The Legend of the Albino Farm: A Novel, Some Kinds of Love: Stories, and Sandy and Wayne: A Novella
Recent or forthcoming individual stories:
Anima, Pennsylvania English
Meridian, Solum Press
Paradise Mansion, Fourth River
Ichthys, Plough Quarterly
X's, Miracle Monocle at the University of Louisville
Death of a Custodian, Passengers Journal
Earthen Vessels, The Laurel Review
Texas Review Press, Forthcoming Fall 2022
A carpenter does verbal battle with God over his son’s early death. A young man haunted by his cousin’s suicide has an opportunity to redeem himself of his former negligence; an alcoholic reunites with the man who ruined his marriage, and discovers more than he bargained for. After a school shooting, a college professor becomes obsessed with vengeance, but not for the first time. A woman recalls night-hikes to a rescue zoo with the troubled boy who shifted the arc of her life; a widow has the foundation torn out from beneath her when she discovers her husband’s infidelity. And in the title story, a pair of cousins flee the Vietnam draft only to find that there is no escape from what they most fear. The characters in Palindrome are boomeranged into crises for which they weren’t prepared, and have no choice but to confront their demons if they wish to move forward with their lives.
Advance praise for Palindrome:
The stories in Elizabeth Genovise’s Palindrome are dispatches from lives of calamity. Here is a catalogue of human woe—suicide, mass shootings, car crashes, drownings—yet the characters, with their everyday humanity, labor toward whatever hard-won and temporary deliverance they can find. Yes, these are tales of the metastasizing power of grief, of fissuring faith, but they are also moving and deftly-written testaments to our stubborn human insistence, to our gritty determination to carry our past sorrows with dignity and even hope. -Doug Ramspeck, author of Under Black Leaves and The Owl That Carries Us Away
Elizabeth Genovise's writing invites readers into the mystical realm of our humanity. Lucid and lovely, her language takes us on journeys to places it is hard to imagine, geographically and spiritually, outside and in. – Tim Gautreaux, author of Same Places, Same Things and The Clearing
A veteran drives his daughter to an abortion clinic. An alcoholic moves in with his lifelong friend, whose wife has died and left behind a little girl who may be the child of either one of them. A woman remembers the crush she had on her high school’s star pitcher, and how everything changed when his face was permanently deformed by fire. The nine extraordinary stories in PALINDROME reveal difficult lives, vastly different in their particulars but common to one another by being, as one character calls it, “pierced through with regret.” These are gritty-hearted stories, as true to life as they can be, beautifully written and hauntingly memorable. -Thom Satterlee, author of God's Liar, A Novel.
Immersive, surprising, and utterly convincing, the short stories of Elizabeth Genovise unfold effortlessly, with a clarity of vision and an understanding of character that all great fiction writers possess. Genovise will break your heart and mend it, and the stories you read in this book will stay with you long after you're done. -Matthew Vollmer, author of Permanent Exhibit, Gateway to Paradise, Inscriptions for Headstones, and Future Missionaries of America.